The Gender-Responsive Unit supervises Justice Involved Women by creating an environment through staff selection, program development, content, assessment, case planning, and treatment referrals that reflect an understanding of women's pathways into the Criminal Justice System. These approaches are relational, strengths-based, and trauma-informed. Interventions and strategies address abuse, violence, family relationships, substance abuse, and co-occurring disorders with an emphasis on developing self-efficacy.
Officers are selected for gender-responsive caseloads who have an interest and desire to work effectively with justice-involved women. They receive specialized training in the criminogenic needs and risks of women. They understand that relationships often drive the woman's motivation and may have played a part in her pathway into the system. Practices and programs are relational and promote healthy connections. Officers are Trauma-Informed and recognize that the history and context of personal abuse plays an important role in how women respond to services. Officers will seek to help women sustain healthy relationships with family, significant others, and the community.
Services and Supervision:
Supervision takes into account the interrelated issues women face in their lives. Problems of substance abuse, trauma, and mental health are addressed through comprehensive, integrated, relevant services and supervision. Issues of trauma, substance abuse, and mental health are connected and must be supervised holistically.
The officer works collaboratively with the woman to set goals. Treatment referrals are made to treatment agencies cross-trained in women's multi-dimensional needs (substance abuse, trauma, mental health, relationships, etc.)
Women on probation face challenges in their communities, not only carrying the stigma of being justice-involved, but many deal with issues such as single motherhood, diminished earning potential, lack of programs and services designed especially for women, and responsibilities to multiple agencies. Gender Responsive Supervision helps to develop an individualized program for each woman that draws on a coordinated range of services within the community. Parole/Probation officers will partner with other agencies such as DHS, Child Welfare, treatment agencies, and community resources to find the services and supports that will best decrease the woman's risk to recidivate.
Community Justice Today - Gender Responsiveness
How do the needs of women differ from the needs of men in the legal system? Watch this video to find out.
Gender Responsive Unit Contact:
Lindsay Zamudio, Program Manager